The Q&A Archives: Deer In The Asparagus Bed

Question: We are planning to fence our garden this year with a 4' picket fence. The deer ate the tops off the asparagus last year and we were wondering if we plant something on the other side of the fence that deer don't like, would that keep them from "jumping in"? Also, if we put other food out for them, will they be satisfied with that or just look for more. We like them coming around but....

Answer: The deer have found a real delicacy in your asparagus bed. If they would just restrict their browsing to one whole asparagus spear, it wouldn't be so bad. But when deer browse they take a bite, and then move on. It's annoying! To keep the deer out you would have to build an 8 - 10 foot high fence. If you offer food, you'll only attract them to your garden and when they get tired of the maindish, they'll wander through your garden and help themselves to dessert. I wouldn't put any foodout for them. You can protect your asparagus bed by putting a tent of chicken wire over the entire bed. It doesn't have to be sophisticated - just a hoop of wire to keep the deer from nibbling the plants. If you can string fishing line from tree to tree on the perimeter of your property, you might be able to keep the deer from getting access to your garden. Vary the height of the line, from two feet to four feet off the ground. It will spook the deer when they walk into it. At least it works for me!

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